• Expert Tips

Employer Branding — Part 3:
The Glow of Appreciation

  • Expert Tips

The core bene­fit of effec­tive employ­er brand­ing is to gain inter­est­ing appli­cants and to retain impor­tant skilled staff. Espe­cial­ly busi­ness­es in the construc­tion and real estate sectors require a strong brand as an employ­er in order to keep up with sought-after tec compa­nies. In the previ­ous issue of Valdivia Expert Tip, we intro­duced the steps of brand devel­op­ment: Employ­er Brand­ing 2: Three Steps to Get Start­ed — Valdivia (valdivia-consulting.com). This time, we look at this ’propel­lor’ of each and every type of employ­er brand­ing – prac­tic­ing appreciation.

Appre­ci­a­tion in Corpo­rate Culture

Wher­ev­er staff need to be led and moti­vat­ed, a few words of appre­ci­a­tion will often effect much more than exten­sive bonus programs. In short, sincere appre­ci­a­tion is the most econom­i­cal way to encour­age and moti­vate staff. Ideal­ly, the company’s entire culture will be based upon this prin­ci­ple. Equal treat­ment, mech­a­nisms against bully­ing, or diver­si­ty manage­ment strate­gies that make a point of includ­ing and consid­er­ing the inter­ests of senior citi­zens, migrants, disabled people, or members of the LGBTQ commu­ni­ty, can all serve to illus­trate this.

The chal­lenge is being sincere. Praise that is only voiced to make the praised person perform even more will­ing­ly, will never be perceived as sincere appre­ci­a­tion. Genuine appre­ci­a­tion must be of substance and calls for person­al messages: “Your presen­ta­tion today was an eye-open­er for me; I have never looked at things this way before,“ for instance, sounds much more convinc­ing than a simple ”Great job!“ Staff members need to feel that their managers are actu­al­ly engag­ing with them as an indi­vid­ual and their indi­vid­ual perfor­mance. Be it simple praise or a grand design of corpo­rate culture – it is always about being aware of your staff: people want to be seen and they want their achieve­ments to be recog­nized. That is why only tangi­ble and person­al recog­ni­tion can create this effect. Diver­si­ty as lip service will have zero effect if, in day-to-day busi­ness, exclu­sion of indi­vid­ual groups is happen­ing, if rumors are spread and jokes are made at their expense, or if managers even toler­ate bullying.

How to Make Your Employ­er Brand Glow

Howev­er, once appre­ci­a­tion has been achieved both in the entire compa­ny and in staff behav­ior, it will have enor­mous posi­tive effects, not only with­in the enter­prise. People work­ing in such a corpo­rate envi­ron­ment will say good things about their work­ing place outside of their offices as well – with friends and fami­ly as well as in social media, espe­cial­ly on eval­u­a­tion plat­forms like kununu or Glassdoor.

What is more, such an appre­cia­tive corpo­rate culture is the ideal foun­da­tion for an attrac­tive and cred­i­ble employ­er brand. There are differ­ent ways to commu­ni­cate this to the outside world. On the one hand, staff members them­selves can talk about it in public, in social media, for example.

On the other hand, appre­ci­a­tion can even show in the way appli­cants are addressed: Refrain­ing from clichéd phras­es or plat­i­tudes and instead giving detailed infor­ma­tion on the compa­ny, the posi­tion, and the require­ments displays appre­ci­a­tion for future employ­ees even at a very early stage. And, of course, the good old rule of thumb applies: Do good and talk about it! If, for exam­ple, your compa­ny promotes age diver­si­ty, why not address ”Gener­a­tion Expe­ri­ence“ direct­ly in job adver­tise­ments as well as through target­ed events, or at job fairs.